0 comments on “Data Systems Management Partners with Accordias Healthcare Services, LLC”

Data Systems Management Partners with Accordias Healthcare Services, LLC

Data Systems Management (DSM), a leading provider of Financial Systems , and Accordias Healthcare Services, LLC (Accordias), a leading provider of Revenue Cycle Services to Rural Community Hospitals, today announced an extension of their long standing Alliance and Technology Partnership.

Accordias has two practices that work very closely with DSM in providing financial services to our Rural Hospital community.  Their Recovery Practice which works with financially troubled facilities, utilizes the DSM Financial applications and claims Clearing House to help these rural facilities get their claims processed and bring financial stability to that facility.  Their Bankruptcy Practice which works closely with Chief Restructuring Officers and Bankruptcy Trustrees to clean up the accounts receivable, utilizes the DSM HIS System and it’s claims Clearing House to support that effort and return the maximum dollars to the Creditors Committee for maximum distribution.

With Accordias providing the expertize and resources, and DSM providing the financial tools, this Alliance will continue to provide the financial support all of our Rural Community Hospitals need to remain a viable community asset.

About Accordias Healthcare Services, LLC

As the preferred revenue cycle partner for community hospitals, Accordias Healthcare is uniquely qualified to step in and jumpstart your revenue cycle. We get community hospitals, because we’ve been in the trenches rubbing elbows with rural, critical access and community hospital administrators to create customized, actionable plans that quickly produce results. Technology platforms are no obstacle – we work with any system and eliminate additional costs related to technology. We can even help you recover from a challenged HIS implementation and begin realizing the benefits of your new technology sooner than later. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation revenue enhancement assessment.

0 comments on “Ransomware is all the craze!”

Ransomware is all the craze!

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that’s designed to encrypt your data and then hold it for ransom until you pay the hackers to get the decryption key.  There are several reasons to be concerned.

1. You’re data is encrypted and you’re not getting it back unless you pay the ransom or you reload your data from a recent backup. (big concern there!)  Depending on the type of backups you do and the number of infections you have in your organization, it could conceivably take anywhere from a few hours to upwards to a month to get fully restored.

2. If you pay the ransom (which can range from a few hundred dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars), there is no guarantee you’re going to get the decryption key.  Think about it.  Paying the ransom is basically saying that you trust the people that hacked your computers in the first place.  That’s just crazy, yeah?

What can you do to make your computers and local network more secure against hackers and malicious software?

While ransomware is not new, a new wave is sweeping over computer networks around the globe.  The most recent breakout infected over 300,000 systems in 150 countries across all industries.  However, there is a way you can dramatically reduce your chances of getting a ransomware infection.

It starts with updates.  Keeping your operating system (OS) updated is the first line of defense against any kind of malicious software attack.  It goes without saying (so I’ll say it), at this point you should not be using Windows XP or earlier OS.  They are not being supported anymore.

So using the latest OS and keeping that OS fully updated is the first, and easiest, way to minimize your risk of infection.  Apple and Linux get viruses, too.  So even if you’re not using Windows, keep your system updated.  That will go along way in protecting you.

Along with keeping your system updated, backups are important.  People generally don’t think about backups.  But, if the data on your system is vitally important, say, payroll, inventory, time sheets, AR, or any mission critical data, you should be doing nightly backups of that data.

If you become infected with a virus, or more specifically with ransomware, then you can recover your data by restoring the backups.  Problem solved!  No ransom payment!  The boss thinks you’re a genius and everything is right with the world!  Assuming your backups are good backups, you will be able to completely recover from a ransomware attack using them.

You should also have anti-virus software installed and running.  These days, ransomeware and other malicious software attacks usually start with clicking on an email attachment.  Just clicking the infected attachment will install the malicious code.  A good anti-virus will scan your emails when they appear in your inbox and alert you to possible infections.

The anti-virus program for your organization should be a business-class, i.e., an enterprise-level, version as opposed to the free stand-alone versions you can download from the Internet.

An enterprise-level anti-virus program can be a little pricey.  It depends on the vendor, which anti-virus you choose, and how many computers you want to put it on.  There is nothing wrong with the free versions on your home computer mainly because… well… they’re FREE!  But, free shouldn’t a consideration for your business, in this case.

So, to recap…

1.    Keep your operating system updated.
2.    Have an anti-virus running and keep it updated.
3.    Save early and save often.  Make backups!
4.    Don’t open email attachments.

0 comments on “How’s your network security?”

How’s your network security?

Creating, upgrading, and maintaining you network is a full time job.  But are you doing everything available to secure your network against cyber threats?  Maintaining your network is the easy part.  Securing it takes a little more thought.

Let’s start with your software.  Legacy software can be described as any program that uses older technology.  Generally speaking, not only is it hard to update legacy software, that software typically must use older hardware to run.  And the combination of old software that hasn’t been updated and old hardware is a recipe that hackers love to exploit.

If you’re still using Windows XP… stop it, already.  Windows XP is no longer supported and hackers know that there’s still a huge installed base out there.  1 + 1 = you’re increasing your chances of getting infected or hacked if you don’t upgrade to the latest OS.

Yeah, Windows 10 has its quirky bits, but what Windows OS doesn’t?  Going to Windows 10 will improve your PC security and it looks and acts enough like XP that there really is no learning curve. (Don’t even get me started on Windows 8!)  Saying that, one of the easiest ways to minimize your chances of bad stuff happening to your network is to ensure that you’re using the latest fully updated operating system and your applications are also up to date.

So, you have the latest OS and you’re running everything on newer hardware.  What happens if, even in spite of your best attempts at securing your network, one of your computers becomes infected with a virus, or worse… ransomware?

Three words… backups, backups, backups.  If the data is mission critical, then not backing it up is just asking for something bad to happen.  If you have to re-image a computer on your network because it has been hacked or infected, then having a recent backup can mean the difference between success and getting eternally ridiculed from everyone at the office.

Just backing up is not enough.  Once the data is backed up, it should be taken off site.

If you’re backing up your data on a USB drive, ensure that the drives are disconnected from the computer after the backup completes.  That way, if the computer becomes infected, the backups will be safe.  Even more, once the backup is complete and the USB device is disconnected from the PC, the backup media should be removed from the current location.  If your office experiences a catastrophic event, then your backups will still be intact.

The most efficient way to do this is to have a cloud-based backup solution.  That way, all of your backed up data is stored at another site, usually in a geographically different location.  Cloud-based backup solutions are, obviously, fee-based solutions.  But the ability to quickly restore your data and get up and running is priceless.

Network security is also as simple as educating your employees.  A well designed and implemented acceptable use policy would explain what employees can and cannot do regarding the hardware and software in your office.  It’s also a good tool to use to make your employees aware of what they should (and should not) do in the event of a suspected hack, breach, or infection.

Even the best anti-virus, anti-exploit, anti-malware, and anti-ransomware is only as good as the person using the PC.  Social engineering can defeat security software.  Employees should be educated in how to recognize phishing attempts, suspicious looking websites, etc. that can be used to gain unauthorized access to your data.

And don’t forget about face-to-face and telephone conversations.  People who engage in social engineering are good at making you feel at ease.  They’re pros at making you think the questions they’re asking or the access they’re requesting is legitimate.  They may drop names of your supervisors, or act as though there’s a sense of urgency.  But an employee education program can train users on how to spot attempts at social engineering being used to gain access to your data.

Now, here’s the difficult and (probably) expensive part… securing access to your network with network-wide hardware/software solutions.  Obviously, the firewall is the gateway to your network.  Having a robust firewall that also provides content filtering, anti-virus/anti-malware, and intrusion prevention goes a long way toward securing your network environment.

Of course, the newer firewalls that provide these services are pricey.  I’ve seen it first hand that many managers don’t want to, or can’t, spend a few thousand for a piece of equipment that they never see.  And if people don’t see a piece of equipment at work, they generally don’t realize the benefit of having it… until it’s too late.

Along with the next generation firewalls, an enterprise-level anti-virus is essential.  Many companies will put free anti-virus software on their computers.  They’re free, so there is that.  And they do detect incoming viruses.  But that’s about the only benefit.

The problem with using free anti-virus titles is that the act as though they’re independent installations.  And they are!  It comes down to simplifying your administration.  If you have 20 PCs running stand-alone anti-virus software, then you have to constantly check 20 different computers to ensure that the software is fully updated and that you have no viruses.

With an enterprise-level anti-virus solution, you’ll commonly have a dashboard from which you can check connected systems, software update status, infection status across ALL computers on the network, etc.  Having this solution will ensure anti-virus consistency across your network.  And that means less work for you!

But with today’s threat environment, just having an anti-virus solution may not be enough.  In addition to your anti-virus, you may need to add some software to address specific issues like malware and ransomware.  A multi-factor approach to security is always the better option.

0 comments on “Big Changes Proposed for Meaningful Use In 2015”

Big Changes Proposed for Meaningful Use In 2015

CMS has proposed big changes for meaningful use (MU) that will affect eligible providers (EP’s) and hospitals in 2015.  Below is a summary of what has been proposed but first let’s discuss what got us where we are today.

So why change?  Well, 2014 was a very difficult year for CMS.  Many vendors could not meet the stage 2 requirements and failed to certify their applications timely and failed to implement upgrades.  Also, many states still lack the infrastructure to accommodate many of the interoperability and reporting requirements.  This led many providers to fail to report and both EP’s and hospitals sought hardship exemptions at an alarming rate.  CMS responded last year by reducing the reporting period to one calender quarter but obviously it was too little too late.

The result of these failures has led to criticism on all fronts.  Congress is questioning the lack of progress and CMS’ ability to manage the programs.  The ONC has been criticized for failing to address the interoperability issues.  Vendors have been called out for a lack of response to their customers and failing to advance the MU goals.  Many professional organizations are demanding changes.  It has been reported that many EP’s are expected to leave the program entirely and take the financial hit in the form of penalties.

Well, it appears CMS is finally listening.  They have proposed significant changes that should provide relief in the form of a simplified set of requirements to meet MU in 2015.  The changes will also eliminate having different participants at different “stages” and beginning in 2016 all providers and hospitals will have to meet the same MU requirements regardless of which year they are in.  The goal is to have everyone on the same page and ready for stage 3 in 2018.

Below is a summary of the proposed changes for hospitals, including critical access hospitals.  I will include a link to the full proposal at the bottom of the page.  CMS is currently accepting public comments on the changes until June 15th, 2015.  You can expect the changes to become final as soon as 60 days after closing of comments.

Stage 1 in 2015

Reporting Requirements

  • Have until December 31, 2015 to collect data
  • Report on 90 consecutive days of data (not calender quarter)


  • CPOE to order meds on 30% of unique patients or 30% of total med orders
  • Clinical Decision Support – Implement one rule and drug interaction on all medications
  • Public Health Reporting – Be actively engaged with your public agency to submit data for 2 of the 6 measures (“actively engaged” means you at least have an agreement with the agency)
  • Provide 50% of patients electronic access to records within 36 hours of discharge
  • Perform a system security analysis

Stage 2 in 2015

Reporting Requirements

  • Have until December 31, 2015 to collect data
  • Report on 90 consecutive days of data (not calender quarter)


  • CPOE to order meds (60%), lab (30%), rad (30%)
  • Electronically submit summary of care on 10% of transfers
  • Clinical Decision Support – Implement 5 rules and drug interaction
  • Perform medication reconciliation on 50% inbound patients
  • Provide patient education to 10% unique patients
  • Provide 50% patients electronic access to records within 36 hours of discharge and have at least one patient access it
  • Public Health Reporting – Be actively engaged with your public agency to submit data for 3 of the 6 measures
  • Perform  a system security analysis

Years 2016 and 2017 (all providers and hospitals regardless of previous stage)

Reporting Requirements

  • Collect and report data for entire year Jan. 1 to Dec. 31st


  • CPOE to order meds (30%), lab (60%), rad (60%)
  • Electronically submit summary of care on 10% of transfers
  • Clinical Decision Support – Implement 5 rules and drug interaction
  • Perform medication reconciliation on 50% inbound patients
  • Provide patient education to 10% unique patients
  • Provide 50% patients electronic access to records within 36 hours of discharge and have at least one patient access it
  • Public Health Reporting – Be actively engaged with your public agency to submit data for 3 of the 6 measures
  • Perform a system security analysis
  • e-Prescribe 10%

So as you can see, there’s big changes coming this year.  Below is the link to view and comment on the proposed changes (be patient… it takes a minute or so for the entire page to load).




In preparation for the October 1, 2014 ICD-10 Implementation, DSM is preparing to share the most up to date information provided by CMS to help promote provider readiness. In the months ahead, our team will highlight information specifically targeting issues requiring provider action or changes in billing practices.

The Medical Records Abstract will allow providers to enter both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes for the purpose of split claims that span the implementation date.

Please access the link below for split claims billing instructions for Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) claims that span the ICD-10 Implementation Date (sample UBs provided by CMS).

CMS MLN SE1325-2-ICD-10

For further updates, please visit this site regularly as we move closer to the big date! We appreciate your business!



DSM users have more options than ever before with our recent addition to the Web Insurance System. ACCESS DDE is the newest tool in a series of solutions developed to promote denial management from within the Web Insurance System.


The DDE screens you are familiar with, integrated with a system you know and trust, work simultaneously to help users improve efficiency and increase productivity. Call our Support Team today to find out more about ACCESS DDE on the Web Insurance System.


0 comments on “DSM Lab System Update”

DSM Lab System Update

In 2011 DSM assumed the development and support of the CSI Lab System, a system with a rich 20 year history of excellent service, support and reliability. The new year brings with it many exciting changes for our Lab Information System (LIS) clients. While we added LOINC code integration in 2011, DSM continues to add more LOINC related functionality ensuring ease of use and the ability for our clients to meet their Meaninful Use (MU) requirements.

In addition, our development team has begun converting the LIS user interface from the IBM Client Access terminal environment to a new, more modern, web based interface.  DSM has had a very positive response to similar changes made in the business line of products and is using the experience to bring a fresh, user friendly, environment for our lab clients to work.

Check back with us in a few days for some screen shots of the the LOINC code changes and the new graphical user interface.



Novitas Solutions offers educational opportunities for medical coders and billers at no cost to you or your employer. Depending on the class, interested participants can earn CEUs while they work and further their knowledge in this rapidly changing field. Click here to view a list of upcoming events offered by Novitas Solutions.



Novitas has published a newsletter for MS Part B providers in preparation for the upcoming JH Part B Transition. Included in the newsletter providers will find the Cutover Schedule, a Local Coverage Determination (LCD) Crosswalk, and other important phone numbers, dates and helpful hints for a successful transition. To access this information and more, click here. Please call Ursula Mercer at 601-925-6292 for more information on how to be prepared.




DSM is working this week to make the necessary changes to your system to send claims to Novitas beginning next Monday August 20. An update will be going out this evening with software changes to accommodate the difference in Novitas’ transmission system.  Once the update is installed we will make configuration changes to your system with the new submitter id, user id, and password that were assigned to your facility by Novitas.  All of this will be completed by the end of the day tomorrow.  According to the Novitas bulletin at the link below you should stop sending claims to Pinnacle at 1:00 PM on August 16 (Box 1 on the second page).  Starting at 2:00 pm on August 16 we will begin making the final changes to your system to send claims to Novitas and will have your system ready to begin sending claims by the end of that day.  However, according to the link below, you should hold ALL Medicare Part A claims until after 5:00 pm Friday August 17 (Box 1 on the second page).


In summary:
– This change will only affect Medicare Part A claims.  The Part B claims will                 transition in October so you can continue to file them.
– You should STOP sending Medicare Part A claims at 1:00 pm on August 16.
– Do NOT begin sending Medicare Part A claims again until after 5:00 pm August 17.